Caia Park play area is targeted in another fire attack

Reporter:

Charlie Croasdale

YOBS have struck again at a trouble-hit children’s play area.

The youth shelter and playground on Prince Charles Road, Caia Park, was targeted by arsonists on Wednesday evening, with Smithfield community councillor Keith Gregory stating ‘a child will be seriously injured or killed’ if the structure is not demolished.

The playground’s wooden covered youth shelter was hit by the blaze, where children still play despite it being officially closed, and costs Wrexham Council ‘thousands of pounds’ to pay for security and fencing.

Cllr Gregory said he couldn’t believe the shelter had been torched once more.

He said: “It’s the fourth time it’s been set alight in the past decade, and it just attracts drug addicts, people drinking alcohol and the homeless. It needs pulling down.

“It is a total nightmare and it costs the local authority thousands in security to keep it there. 

“The community council has called for it to be taken down.

“It has been nothing but a disaster, not serving its purpose as a playground and shelter for children. 

“If we are not careful a child will be seriously injured or killed.

“I find it hard to believe it has been set on fire once again and the wooden structures are going to be weakened, there’s a ton of concrete supported by those pillars, and if children are sat underneath it, there will be deaths.”

Cllr Marc Jones, chairman of Caia Park community council, said the site was a “shambles”.

“It is a standing joke in Caia Park, an absolute shambles,” he said.

“It was built for children and they have been involved in designing and building it, but it keeps getting set on fire.

“It is costing Wrexham Council thousands of pounds per year to keep it secure and in fencing – but every time it is burned down, they rebuild it with wood.

The shelter and play area is owned by Wrexham Council and run by The Venture.

Cllr Malcolm King, chairman of The Venture, said: “I know the young people who were involved in building and refurrbing it would be very upset if it were to be demolished, but these actions continue to be by people who do not have a personal interest in using the facility for its true purpose. 

“It is possible to repair it but it is hard to say what the future is for the facility.”

A Wrexham Council spokesman said: “We are aware of the incident, our staff will be visiting the site today to make the structure safe, whilst we consider what to do with the structure.”

See full story in the Leader

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